Perhaps the time has come to shut the San Francisco office, and have the remaining regions take over regulatory oversight?
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been overseeing the substantial reduction in staff of the his agency.
However, each of the 10 regional offices usually have a designated head to run the local operations. One of those regions still lacks a chief because the administration is finding it difficult to locate someone wiling to face the gauntlet of eco-activists in the San Fransisco Region 9 headquarters.
“On Tuesday, an oil and gas lobbyist from New Mexico who, according to several people inside the Trump administration, was poised to fill the post told The Times it was all a big mistake. He’d be staying put in New Mexico.
“I am not leaving my current role as Executive Director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association for any position at EPA or elsewhere within the federal government,” said an email from Ryan Flynn.
That unwavering declaration caught some in the administration off guard. Flynn had already been spotted at EPA offices this week, where staff in the building reported he was fingerprinted, a final step before assuming the role as head of EPA Region 9.
This was at least the second time the Trump administration had an oil industry executive bow out of the running for the Region 9 job in a late stage of vetting. In other cases, candidates had been approached, but took a pass before talks got that far.
Given the death threats, cyber-harassment, and other security concerns any oil-industry candidate would face if that position was accepted, I am not surprised.
So, I thought I would give Pruitt and Trump a suggestion: Close the Region 9 office, now. Redirect all work, issues, and regulatory oversight to one or more of the neighboring regions.
As an extra bonus, the message that it would send to the area’s #Resistance movement would be priceless.
A contributing factor to the reluctance for applications is that California’s Attorney General is already gearing up an attack against the agency, due to the rescinding of strict emissions standards on “glider” trucks.
…Known as the 2016 Glider Rule, the regulations mandate that most engines installed in “gliders” – new heavy-duty truck bodies outfitted with refurbished or rebuilt pre-2010 highly polluting engines – meet the same emissions standards applicable to all newly manufactured engines.
“Repealing the Glider Rule is bad for our environment, for the health of our families, and for truckers and shippers who play by the rules and operate trucks with cleaner fuel-burning engines,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to set and enforce motor-vehicle emissions standards. If EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decides to neglect this legal responsibility by doing away with the Glider Rule, we are prepared to take any and all action to protect the air our children breathe and the vitality and level playing field of the trucking industry, an important sector of our economy.”
The stock market is having its best start to year in more than three decades and more gains are anticipated for the rest of 2018, in part based on the rollback of draconian environmental regulations that do nothing to truly protect the environment.
Keeping the Region 9 position unfilled might just boost the economic environment just a little bit more.DONATE
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